Why are most Afghans who are fleeing, going to neighboring countries?
Did you know that a majority of the refugees from the Middle East live in the region? Lebanon & Jordan host millions of people who have fled war, conflict or other disasters. There are an estimated 1.5 million Syrians in Lebanon, for example. In Pakistan, the story is similar : about three million Afghans reside […]
Can celebrity philanthropy be harmful?
Remember the ads in which Angelina Jolie comes out and shames the world for ignoring the plight of refugees? Or the Bono concert for helping AIDS victims? While each of them has done incredible good in the world, there is an argument out there; and it is a fairly strong one that goes like this: […]
How to measure what matters : Nonprofit management 101
The nonprofit industry is obsessed with one thing : measurement. For those who do research or are involved in actual program delivery in the nonprofit sector, this desire to ‘measure spoons’ as Alnoor Ebrahim, a Harvard University professor calls it, can translate into a variety of things. There are a great many metrics that are […]
How to fix the world – Use your head or heart?
Climate change. Refugee crisis. Unemployment. Poverty. Think of these issues or any other countless ‘wicked’ problems and if you are reasonable, like most people; one question sounds in your head: “Do we know all the facts?”. Do we know the ‘right’ approach to fix these issues? While the ‘facts’ are available to address and solve […]
Philanthropy: Where Marxism and Islam agree
Marxism can be considered the exact mirror opposite of Islamic values, when it comes to ideas of materialism. On surface, this statement seems true. While Karl Marx’s idea of society can be considered purely materialistic, and his notions of political economy deeply rooted in notions of wealth, Islam is a more egalitarian and ‘socialist’ system, […]
Musings on Amtrak: Seth Meyers, Lynchburg and my travel disability
I am off to India by way of Morocco. This is a modest attempt at following one of my heroes – Ibn Battuta – a Moroccan traveler and scholar, who lived in the 14th century. Why is he my hero? for that you must watch this fascinating talk. In short, this scholar-traveler did about 73,000 […]
Lessons in Foreign Policy from Food Cart Vendors
“Cairo, very good city. You go there?” queried the young Egyptian juice vendor, as I was attempting to buy a mixed berry juice, while waiting for my turn to enter the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Another food cart vendor, who was a Syrian pointed out the similarities in spices in India and the Arab […]